Finding the most suitable neighborhood to move to in Milan can be challenging. There are about 80 neighborhoods to choose from, and each is unique and attractive in its own way. We’ll take a look at 13 of the best places to live in Milan, along with some local highlights.
Where to live in Milan:
Lively and trendy, Isola sits to the north of the city center. It’s known for its hipster character, organic delis, quirky bars, offbeat street art, family-run shops, and independent boutiques. If you are looking for a sense of community, it’s definitely your place.
The neighborhood is a great place for the younger crowd – arty young professionals who enjoy dining out and attending cultural events.
To really appreciate its unique flair, head to Bar Frida for cocktails, tapas, local art and handmade goods.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €1,700
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €567,000
2. Porta Nuova
Isola’s close neighbor, Porta Nuova, is the epitome of modern and upscale, where attractive green spaces merge with city life.
It has a very urban feel to it, is filled with skyscrapers, and is home to the two leafy Bosco Verticale towers (the Vertical Forest) covered head-to-toe with a combination of trees and shrubs.
The heart of the area, Piazza Gae Aulenti, is where you will find lively markets and classy restaurants.
It’s an ideal area for affluent residents and families with young children and a lot of disposable income. The area has several excellent private schools, including The Swiss School of Milan and the Montessori School Milan. The acclaimed international schools ICS Milan and the German School of Milan are nearby.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €2,600
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €1,39M
If you love parties and buzzing non-stop nightlife? Check out Garibaldi.
This chic neighborhood is home to Corso Como, one of the most scenic pedestrianised streets. Luxury boutiques and popular restaurants flank its cobblestone pathway. It’s also where you find 10 Corso Como, an iconic store that brings together fashion, culture, music and food for a unique shopping experience.
Corso Como is particularly renowned for its buzzing nightlife and nightclubs packed out while the rest of the city sleeps. If you continue past the arch of Porta Garibaldi, you’ll head into one of the most lively spots for aperitivo in Milan, Corso Garibaldi, a commercial street, with numerous shops and cafés.
The area has groceries and supermarkets and the public transportation options are great: two subway lines, the second largest train station in Milano, and a bunch of buses and trams.
Residential prices in the area are a bit steep, but the lifestyle the area offers is worth it.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €2,000
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €903,400
Brera is a charming quarter in Milan and one of the most desirable areas to live in. It’s full of cosy cafes, art galleries, and designer boutiques that draw a crowd, certainly at the height of Milan Fashion Week.
Meandering the narrow streets is a popular pastime for locals and tourists, with a visit to the renowned Pinacoteca di Brera art museum being a must.
If you move here, try Trattoria Torre di Pisa for classic Tuscan cuisine, or head to N’Ombra de Vin for a robust wine selection in an atmospheric setting, you won’t regret it!
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €2,900
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €1,53M
The residential area of Magenta-Pagano is where the true Milanese reside.
It’s a historic neighborhood that’s a bit off the beaten path of Milan’s increasingly international and social scene.
The neighborhood is a more tranquil quarter of Milan, with one noteworthy landmark being the Santa Maria delle Grazie church, which houses Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Last Supper fresco.
Magenta is just steps away from Milan’s largest park, Sempione, where you’ll find plenty of residents walking their furry friends or picnicking on a sunny day.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €2,400
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €1,47M
While it’s a slight commute from Milan’s city center compared to other neighborhoods, CityLife can be a welcome escape from the traditional Italian lifestyle. It’s the area for you if you seek a true urban environment.
You can recognise CityLife by the Tre Torri skyscrapers that are visible from afar and are lovingly nicknamed “the crooked”, “the straight”, and “the curvo”.
At the heart of CityLife is Piazza Tre Torri, the large pedestrian area that leads you to the CityLife Shopping District. Here you can find over 80 shops, plenty of restaurants, seven cinema halls and a supermarket.
Its modern residential towers, indoor and outdoor shopping center, and urban park make it an innovative and spacious neighborhood.
While living there is best suited for affluent residents, CityLife’s ample amenities make it a weekend hotspot for families and university students.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €2,200
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €1,50M
7. San Siro
Venturing further outside of Milan’s inner circle lies San Siro, famous for its eponymous football stadium, home to two major Milanese soccer teams, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
San Siro draws thousands of fans regularly. It’s also known for its family-friendly atmosphere and recreational lifestyle. Families who enjoy outdoor activities and sports will find plenty to do, including a visit to the Hippodrome horse racing track.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €1,300
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €386,500
The neighborhood north of Loreto, a.k.a. NoLo is up-and-coming and a major attraction for young people, artists and designers. It’s known for its urban renewal projects and creative scenes like Via Pontano, which operates as an open-air urban museum featuring a multitude of large-scale street art and graffiti. Plus, it’s one of the longest art streets in Europe!
The neighborhood has a weekly flea market, Mercatino Nolo, which showcases a selection of vintage clothing and unique finds.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €1,100
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €353,000
9. Città Studi
Loreto’s neighbor Città Studi is known for being an academic district in Milan. One of the most renowned universities in Italy for technical and engineering studies, the Politecnico di Milano, is located there.
As any popular and lively student district, Città Studi is loud, vibrant and fun. There are bars, cafès, and cheap restaurants. The area is famous for its craft beers. It also has a good selection of green parks, perfect for a summer picnic like the one in front of the Polytechnic campus.
The area is well connected to the rest of Milan with metro lines and buses. Living here, you also have access to the beautiful Botanical Garden in via Camillo Golgi 18.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €1,200
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €485,000
10. Porta Venezia
Porta Venezia is another historical neighborhood of Milan known for its Art Nouveau buildings and museums, like the Villa Necchi Campiglio, which presents art and design from the 20th century.
Home to Milan’s second largest park, the Giardini Indro Montanelli, which includes a pond, greenhouse and historic villa, Porta Venezia provides families with a variety of outing options.
If you are part of a younger crowd looking for a fun night out, you will discover the quirky cocktails served at Nottingham Forest sure do make a splash.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €1,600
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €692,500
Like Magenta, Risorgimento is a quiet and residential neighborhood of Milan that is great for families and young professionals.
It’s experiencing a migration of Milanese families who find Milan’s Centro Storico increasingly out of reach regarding residential prices and everyday amenities.
Risorgimento is known for its green spaces, historical villas, and peaceful atmosphere. Living here, you will appreciate the farmer’s market with a rich selection of produce.
You may need a reservation, though, if you want to enjoy one of Risorgimento’s many tasty eateries– as the area becomes more popular, they’re always seemingly full!
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €1,750
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €786,000
Navigli is known for its picturesque canals, trendy bars and restaurants, vintage shops, and nightlife scene. The area was once an industrial district, but now it’s a lively neighborhood boosted by its attractive canal-side cafés and charming streets full of vintage and boho-chic shops.
The Navigli area also hosts a famous antique market on the last Sunday of every month. It is home to several artistic and cultural events throughout the year, making it well-suited for creatives and young professionals. There are also a few universities nearby, so many students choose Navigli as their base.
Beyond walking its cobblestone streets to explore the array of shops, a boat tour along the canal is an excellent way to experience the beauty and charm of Navigli.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €1,300
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €530,000
13. Porta Romana-Lodi
Porta Romana, particularly its southern sector, Lodi or Scalo di Porta Romana, is bustling with urban renewal projects.
You may have heard of the Olympic village, set to host Olympians of the 2026 winter games before turning into residential housing, or the Symbiosis Business district, which, per its name, promotes collaboration, innovation, and creativity through mixed-use office spaces and retail amenities.
Apart from the new projects, this residential area is laid out around local shops, restaurants and well-kept leafy squares. You can find quiet corners off the main road and plenty of street parking.
Residential prices in the area will surely rise as everyone wants a piece of Porta Romana’s emerging star.
Avg. apartment rental price 2022: €1,400
Avg. apartment purchase price 2022: €669,000
Final thoughts on the best neighborhoods in Milan
Milan is a fantastic city to call home, and with some research and exploration, you are sure to find the perfect neighborhood to fit your lifestyle. Here is a quick summary:
- Most expensive neighborhoods in Milan: Brera, Porta Nuova, and CityLife
- Most affordable, semi-central neighborhoods in Milan: NoLo, Città Studi, Porta Romana
- Best for creatives: Isola, NoLo, and Navigli
- Best for families: San Siro, Magenta-Pagano, and Risorgimento
- Best for students: Città Studi, Navigli, and Porta Romana
- Best for business professionals: Porta Nuova, Garibaldi, Porta Venezia, and Risorgimento
Milan is growing and developing, focusing on sustainability and innovation while maintaining its historical and cultural heritage. The potential for significant economic and social benefits is increasing, with the real estate industry being a noteworthy contributor. For more information on Milan’s real estate market or to acquire property, contact Matteo Spadafora, the author of this guide.
Other locations in Italy to consider:
- Living In Verona, Italy: What To Ask Before You Move
- All About Living In Florence, Italy
- What It’s Like Living In Bologna
- Living In Rome: The Pros & Cons You Must Know
You might find useful:
- 12 Best Places To Live In Italy For Lifestyle Success – Read about Italy’s best locations for expats to choose the ideal destination for you.
- Living In Italy: Essential Expat Guide – The expat guide to moving and living in Italy. Pros and cons, residency and property matters, cost of living, and the most popular places to live.
Helpful external links:
- Municipality of Milan website – comune.milano.it
- The cost of living in Milan – Numbeo